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30 Songs to Be Broadcast from Lunar-probing Satellite
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China announced a list of 30 songs to be broadcast to Earth next year from its first lunar-probing satellite, the authorities said.


The Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, in charge of the lunar project, announced Friday a list of 30 tunes to be played from the lunar-probing satellite, which coincides with this year's traditional Mid-Autumn Festival or the Moon Festival, a time for family reunions.


The songs were chosen according to public votes and by a panel of experts, organized by the commission, China Central Television and China Musicians Association.


Experts said these songs can express Chinese people's love for the motherland, for life, peace and their pursuit of truth and nature, which will showcase the beauty of Chinese culture and its influence.


Most of the songs were Chinese folk songs. The song got most votes was folk song "My Wonderful Home Town", followed by "I Love China", "Singing Praises of Motherland" and 27 others.


The songs were chosen from a list of 152 songs put forward by the commission's Lunar Probe Engineering Center, which includes music from the country's 56 ethnic groups, pop music from the mainland, Taiwan and Hong Kong and opera soundtracks.


China's national anthem and "The East is Red", a tribute song to Mao Zedong, which was broadcast in 1970 from the country's first man-made terrestrial satellite, will also be played from the satellite.


The satellite project was approved by the Chinese central authorities in 2004 as part of the three-stage Chang'e Program. The project has a budget of 1.4 billion yuan (US$170 million).


The program, named "Chang'e" after the legendary Chinese goddess who flew to the moon, aims to eventually place an unmanned vehicle on the moon by 2010.


The lunar satellite is designed to obtain 3D images of the lunar surface, analyze the content of useful elements and materials, and probe the depth of the lunar soil and the space environment between the earth and the moon.


The satellite, which is based on China's Dongfanghong III telecommunication satellite platform, boasts seven types of scientific exploration instruments, including a CCD camera, a high-energy particle detector, a laser height gauge and a micro-wave detector.


The satellite will be 2,350 kg in weight with 130 kg of payload, and will orbit the moon for one year. A Chinese Long March III A carrier rocket will be used to launch the satellite.


The satellite launch at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province next year will be followed by the landing of an unmanned vehicle on the moon in 2010 and collecting samples of lunar soil with an unmanned vehicle in 2020.


(Xinhua News Agency October 7, 2006)

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